Betta is a majestic beautiful fish and is often the first choice of aquarium owners. And unless you are a Betta breeder, you would want to have other fish in the fish tank as well.
and that’s where you really need to know what kind of fish is you can keep with Betta fish (as it may not get along with most of the fish)
What fish can live with betta fish? Ones that don’t turn on it, or a species that the betta does not attack. The latter is important. For years, betta fish (aka Siamese fighting fish) have been bred for their aggressive tendencies.
This fighting instinct is still prevalent in the species. In fact, even betta fish that are bred in captivity can kill other nearby fish.
That is why the fish has a bad reputation. However, some bettas are actually calm and have a sweet disposition. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing this without a test.
Top Fish That Can Live With Betta Fish in a Fish Tank
Introducing fish to your betta can be tricky. Make sure you have another tank ready in case it turns on them. Here are some species you can try out:
Cory catfish or corydoras are considered to be awesome companions for bettas. They are easy to take care of and can withstand similar water conditions as those needed by Betta.
The fish remains at the bottom and can live alone or in schools. Cory catfish can grow to about one or two inches in length and can live for three years tops. They are quite active and can make the tank lively.
Harlequin Rasboras are known for being docile and strong swimmers. In other words, they won’t attack the betta and will be quick to escape if attacked.
Plus, their unique colors don’t agitate betta fish. You can keep them with your fish in the same environment without worry.
That’s because they inhabit the same habitat in the wild as the betta. With proper care, Harlequin Rasboras can live up to five to eight years.
Endler’s Livebearers are quite similar to guppies, just not as flashy.
The fish does not have flowing fins or bright coloring that can agitate betta fish. However, the species breeds fast. So if you want to make a community tank, this is the fish for you. The population can get out of control though.
On the other hand, your betta can keep numbers down by eating some of the fry. The fish can live for two to three years. It can grow up to one inch in length or slightly more.
Dwarf crayfish stand out because of their unique look. Plus, no two are alike when it comes to personality. And the reason why they make great tank mates for betta fish is that they are bottom dwellers.
In other words, this crayfish will rarely come into contact with the aggressive betta. The Betta fish prefers to remain at the top of the tank after all.
Keep in mind that dwarf crayfish are invertebrates. So never add copper-based medication to the tank. It will kill them. At most these crayfish grow to about two inches tops. It can live for three years.
Feeder guppies have muted coloring compared to their vibrantly colored counterparts, fancy guppies. This makes them perfect as tank mates for betta fish. The guppies are tiny and won’t go after your fish as it swims.
In fact, this tank mate is usually bred as food for other fish. Plus, they can survive in a range of tank conditions. In other words, you won’t have to worry about them much.
White Cloud Minnow
The White Cloud Minnow is a peaceful and easy-to-care-for fish. Like feeder guppies, it won’t bother your betta fish.
So, it won’t be seen as a threat. This minnow enjoys a similar diet and water pH as bettas. However, they are used to colder temperatures. Just keep your tank at 75 degrees F to keep both species happy
Clown Plecos are the dwarf species of the Common Pleco. The latter can grow up to two feet in length. However, the Clown variety only grows to about four inches in length.
Caring for the tiny fish is easy and it can live up to ten years in captivity. It also likes to explore and has a tough skin that betta fish cannot damage.
Neon and Ember Tetras
Neon tetras are vibrantly colored, but make great tank mates for bettas nonetheless. That’s because the tiny fish is speedy so your betta will not be able to catch them. Just make sure you add packs of 6 to 10 in there. They will thrive in a tank that is long and horizontal.
Tetras can live up to five years in captivity and can grow to about four inches. Their red stripes are also apparent in the dark making them fascinating to watch. A tank that has heavy vegetation will provide them plenty of hiding spaces.
If you prefer smaller tank maters, go for ember tetras instead. They rarely grow more than an inch in length. Make sure the school contains at least four to six fish.
Much like bettas, ember tetras thrive in heavy vegetation in tanks. They also like to eat brine shrimp, which your betta will also appreciate. Embers can live between four to five years depending on their care and compatibility with bettas.
What Else Can Live with Betta (Other than Fish)?
If you fancy having life forms other than fish in your aquarium, here are some other species that you can have in your aquarium with Betta fish.
Marimo Moss Ball
This is not a fish. It is a living moss ball or plant that makes an attractive tank mate. The plant is almost indestructible so you don’t need a green thumb to make it thrive. What’s really cool is that the moss ball can live up to 100 years!
It grows to just about 5 mm in diameter on a yearly basis.
A Marimo moss ball also eats algae and produces oxygen. Think of it as a docile housekeeper for your betta fish. If you are not ready to introduce fish with your betta, try this moss instead. It will make an excellent addition.
While not a fish, Ghost Shrimps can be a good alternative to consider to add to your Betta Fish tank.
Ghost shrimp are inexpensive options you can use as a test. If your fish turns on them, you can leave them in the tank as food. It sounds cruel, but you are just contributing to the circle of life. The shrimp are almost transparent which can also clean up algae in your tank.
If it works out, both will have a long and healthy life together. The shrimp can grow up to two inches in length and can live for a year.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
This common aquarium snail makes a great companion for betta fish. This tank mate is quite docile and will not aggravate your fish.
However, keep an eye on them if you introduce multiple snails. Malaysian Trumpet Snails can overrun a tank if they are left to breed uncontrolled.
At most, the snail can grow up to one inch in size. It can also live up to a year.
African Dwarf Frog
African dwarf frogs have peaceful personalities and are easy to take care of. The species is quite active and likes to explore.
It comes to the surface to get air and shed their skin every two weeks. Don’t worry, they eat the skin later so you won’t have to worry about cleanup.
The frog can live up to five years and can grow about two inches in length.
How Many Tank Mates You Should Add
The rule is simple. You should have a gallon of water for every inch of fish in the tank. So a fish that grows to two inches will need two gallons of water. More space is always better.
Too many fish may compromise water quality too fast.
A single betta can thrive in a 10-gallon tank. This much space can accommodate your betta and five inches of other species.
In other words, you can add three to five smaller fish to the tank. More than that and your betta fish will stress out and attack them.
Top Rules For Adding Community Fish To Betta Tanks
Don’t just plop the aforementioned tank mates in with your betta fish.
There are rules you should follow:
- Act fast if your betta attacks or is attacked once you place your fish in. Have a quarantine tank on hand. You can remove injured, scared, or aggressive fish into it. This can also happen if the tank is too small.
- Add the fish into the betta tank in odd-numbered groups. This will accomplish two things. It will reduce the chances of your fish turning on each other. Plus, the tank will beautify in front of your eyes. So add three to five small fish into the tank rather than two at a time.
Contrary to popular belief, betta fish can live with other fish.
The species you choose should be peaceful in nature. Plus, their coloring shouldn’t be overly vibrant (such as in some Guppies). Aggressive and vibrant tank fish can aggravate your betta fish or vice versa.
If your betta fish doesn’t get along with any of the aforementioned species, don’t worry. It is not a schooling fish. As such, it will thrive alone in the tank provided it is kept stimulated. So add aquascaping complete with live plants and décor to its tank.
It will find them pleasurable and fun to explore.
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